Published On: Thu, Aug 19th, 2010

County voters to decide future of additional property tax assessed by school district

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WEST PALM BEACH –Palm Beach County Commissioners have voted to place a referendum question on the Nov.2 ballot asking voters if they want the school district to continue assessing them an extra property tax that the state legislature allowed temporarily a few years ago.

Commission Chairman Burt Aaronson said the vote does not represent an endorsement of the tax. It just allows voters to have a say on it.

A tax rate of 25 cents per $1,000 of property valuation is currently included in the School Board’s proposed rate of $8.15 per $1,000 valuation.  But it expires after the 2010-2011 school year.

If voters approve the extension in November, the additional tax will continue to be levied until the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

The tax raises about $32 million a year, according to school officials.

In other action at the Aug. 17 meeting, the County Commission handled the following matters:

Beach Funding – passed a resolution asking the state to review an application for approximately $6.875 million for local shoreline protection projects. If approved, the county’s matching share would be $6.042 million.

Marinelife Center – conceptually agreed to lease an additional three-quarter acre within Loggerhead Park for expansion of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. The proposed expansion area immediately north of the existing center would displace three picnic shelters and parking spaces, which can be mitigated elsewhere in the park at the center’s expense.

Environmental Resources Management – approved termination of a .99-acre conservation easement at Whiteside Industrial Park for a cash buyout of $85,000; also, as anticipated, approved termination of a 1.44-acre conservation easement adjacent to a proposed county branch library site in The Acreage for a native upland preserve buyout of $80,064.

Biohazard Waste Incineration – sitting as the Environmental Control Board, agreed to amend the county’s Biohazardous Waste Incineration Facility Ordinance No. 92-22 to mirror state and federal regulations pertaining to medical waste incineration facilities, and to include Palm Beach County standards regulating chromium levels.

Palm Tran – approved fare increases for Palm Tran’s Transportation Disadvantaged Program. The new monthly rate will be $10 for people whose household income is at or below 100 percent of the poverty level, and $15 for those with incomes between 100 and 150 percent of the poverty level.

Roads – approved on preliminary reading and to advertise for public hearings on Sept. 14 amendments to the five-year road program and an ordinance to comply with state legislation authorizing the use of unmanned traffic cameras.

Advisory Boards – reassigned four seats on county advisory boards and committees held by former District 2 Commissioner Jeff Koons.

County Charter – directed county administrators to create a charter review process to be approved by County Commissioners at a later date.

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